Friday, December 6, 2013

NE NEWS - December 3, 2013

Northeast Community News – December 03, 2013
Dear friends and family,
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Everywhere you go…Bumba, bumba, bababa, bum…This Christmas carol speaks of the “five and tens glistening once again , toys in every store,” and “holly on your own front door” as some of the ways to tell that Advent or the preparation for Jesus’ birth has begun again! Perhaps most profound is the way the song ends. Do you remember? “Soon the bells will start, and the thing that will make them ring, is the carol that you sing, right within your heart! As you prepare to celebrate Christ this year I pray that Jesus is indeed singing in your heart! Amen!
God’s message this week came from 2 Timothy 3:1-5 and titled, “Fruit of the Spirit: Self-Control.” Self-Control comes from the Greek words Sophron andEgkrates and is defined as one who is sound in mind, sober, sane, and self-restrained in all passions and desires.
As in his previous letter to Timothy, Paul provides a long list of what to expect in the last days before Jesus’ return. As godlessness increases Paul warns the culture will be: “…lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good….(2 Tim 3:1b-3). In other words, Paul tells us we shouldn’t be surprised to discover a culture outside the Christian faith out of control!
But, it is heartbreaking to discover Christians as out of control as the culture they live in. We have witnessed the people of faith involved in endless sex scandals, alcohol and drug use, pornography, obesity, and marital unfaithfulness. Some Christians even lose control of their passions and engage in hate speech when discussing ‘hot topics’ such as homosexuality, politics, abortion, and the emergent church. This should not be!
Paul warns those who lack self-control that they are “…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God having a form of godliness but denying its power. [He even goes so far as to say,] Have nothing to do with them” (2 Tim 3:4b-5). 
As holiness Christians we are called to move beyond nominal Christianity with a ‘form of godliness’ and live in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit! In our humanity we may lack self-control (we may lack much of the fruit of the Spirit for that matter), but as the POWER of the Holy Spirit cleanses, fills, moves, and leads we can bear His fruit!
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law”(Galatians 5:22-23).
As we finish our study on the Fruit of the Spirit there is a sense that Jesus is at the center of EVERYTHING that matters! This Advent as you prepare for Christmas, why not give Him control, abide in Him, and start living abundantly right here, right now!

Remember, while we still examine God’s Word, we are now singing and praying first to give us enough time to pray! Sometimes we need two weeks to finish a lesson and that’s ok! This week we will begin to examine ‘faithfulness’ in 2 Chronicles 20:1-30 as we continue our Fruit of the Spirit study. Hope to see you there!

Starting in January our church will be spending 7 weeks examining what it means to declare, “JESUS IS LORD.” Using materials created by Dr. Frank Moore, former Nazarene College professor of theology and current editor of Holiness Today, we will examining a Christian understanding of lordship in the Bible and Christian tradition and how we can make “Jesus, Lord of our daily lives,” too.
The 7 weekly Bible studies on Wednesday nights will be using the book “Jesus is Lord: The Cry of a Kingdom Citizen.” If you would LIKE A COPY of the book, please let Pastor Dan know BEFORE December 23rd so he can order you one! The cost is $8.00 per book for the adults and $5 a copy for the youth version, but there are funds available if you cannot afford to pay for one! A copy of each book will be available for you to review in the back of the sanctuary on a table along with a SIGN UP sheet to order the books! If you have any questions, please see, call, or email Pastor Dan!
Blessings! Pastor Dan

Hello from Pastor Amy, your Associate Pastor/Administrative Secretary
My office hours vary on Tuesdays, and you can always call! My responsibilities include preparing our weekly program, so if you have an event or prayer request to publish, please contact me! Also, we have a long, ongoing list of prayer requests. Please keep me updated. Requests will be pulled from the newsletter & program after three weeks.
My Contact Info: 616-514-9521 or


NE Community Potluck – Sunday December 08
Immediately after our morning worship service on Sunday December 08, we will be holding another NE Community potluck. This is a great time to invite friends and family to church, and everyone is welcome to attend. Please bring a dish to pass if you are able. There is always plenty of good food to go around. Talk to Irene Pratt to help!

Snow Shoveling – Volunteers Wanted!
We could use some help sharing the responsibility of shoveling our walks this winter. If you live close and want to help, we usually shovel the walks at the following times: Tuesday AM and PMWednesday PM, and Sunday AM. Talk to Pastor Dan or the trustees to help, or just show up with a shovel anytime you are available!

Advent Readings and Lighting of the Wreath
Advent began on December 1st! Our tradition is to light candles on our Advent Wreath in the front of the sanctuary as we anticipate Christmas and the birth of our Savior, as well as His future return. During Advent, we reflect on the already-but-not-yet Kingdom of God, and the God who promised Christ in the Old Testament, sent Christ in the incarnation and his Holy Spirit to dwell with us today, and tells us in His Word that Christ will come again in final victory! Our Adult Alternative Sunday school class will be studying an Advent devotional for these weeks leading up to Christmas, please join us and be enriched in your faith during this wonderful season!

November Blanket Drive/Coat Drive Thank You!
For the month of November, we collected new and gently used coats and blankets to help support Mel Trotter ministries. We found that blankets are a huge need for this shelter, and they often have many beds without blankets during this cold season. This year, we also collected coats, and received donated mittens too! In total we received: 60 blankets, 12 coats, and a bag full of mittens. Thank you for giving and helping to spread love into our community in a very practical way!

Tuesday Morning Prayer Meeting – Holiday Break
During the month of December, we are breaking from our formal Tuesdaymorning prayer meeting. We encourage everyone to continue praying from home, and to join us for our other time of community prayer on Wednesday nights.

First Friday Chinese Lunches Continue – December 06
Looking for a chance to connect with some of your friends from church? Join us for lunch on the first Friday of every month at the Hibachi Grill on Alpine, located behind the Target. Everyone is invited. The food is cheap and delicious and the conversation is even better. No reservations required, just show up at11:30am. Talk to Tracy Tamm.

Helping College Student Revival at Calvin – The Send
In an effort to support Jonathan Gingrich and fellow Calvin College students who are gathering weekly for prayer, planning, and revival, we are asking if you would be willing to bake a treat or snack for their weekly meetings. They are meeting on Sunday nights, so we want to send them off with snacks for the meeting. Talk to Irene Pratt or bring something beginning on Sunday December 08th to send!

Ladies Cookie Exchange and Lunch – Saturday December 14 @ 12:00pm
Irene Pratt is planning a cookie exchange and lunch for any ladies who would like to join. Please bring at least one dozen cookies to exchange. Lunch will be provided, and it will all take place at Irene’s house: 2453 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506. Please talk to Irene with questions! 616.432.9160

December Wednesday Night Potluck Dinner Date Change
Our Wednesday night potlucks usually take place on the last Wednesday of the month, but due to Christmas, we are pushing our dinner back a week for December. The dinner will be held on Wednesday December 18 @ 5:30pm with regular Bible study to follow. Bring a dish to pass and join us for good food and fellowship. Talk to Julie Orban with questions or to help set-up or clean-up.

Christmas Eve Service – December 24 @ 6:00pm
We are once again beginning to plan our Christmas Eve Service. This is a very special service and is a great time to invite someone who normally does not come to church. We need plenty of workers to help decorate, light candles, do various readings, work in the nursery, clean up, and prepare cookies and coffee for the afterglow following the service. Want to help or have any other ideas? Talk to Pastor Dan.

Christmas and New Year’s Wednesday Night Cancellations
Please note that we will NOT be holding our regular Wednesday night Bible study on Wednesday December 25, nor on January 1st. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Our Teens are FUNDRAISING!
In an effort to raise money for summer camp at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp, our teens are selling World’s Finest Chocolate Bars. They have a variety of flavors, and the bars are $1 each. They are selling them on Wednesday nights, as well as after service on Sunday. This is a great way to support our teens and help them get to summer camp! Talk to Pastor Amy if you have any questions, or see Kamrie and Alannah to buy!

Upcoming Events
December 06          First Friday Chinese lunch, 11:30am @ Hibachi Alpine
December 08          NE Community Potluck follows morning worship
December 14          Cookie Exchange and Lunch @ Noon – Irene Pratt home
December 18          Wednesday Night Potluck Dinner @ 5:30pm, Bible study follows
December 24          Christmas Eve Service @ 6pm
December 25          No Wednesday Night Bible Study – Merry Christmas!
January 01              No Wednesday Night Bible Study – Happy New Year!

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